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RELEASE: Rep. Baker, Republican Legislators Introduce Paid Family and Medical Leave Proposal

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

St. Paul, MN–Representative Dave Baker, R-Willmar, and a group of Republican legislators introduced the MN Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FaMLI) earlier today at a news conference held at the State Capitol. The plan is an alternative to House File 2 and provides paid family and medical leave benefits for employees without job-crushing mandates and new taxes.

“Paid family and medical leave benefits are widely supported by Minnesotans and is something that businesses of all sizes want to be able to offer to employees,” said Baker. “However, House File 2 mandates a new payroll tax that will impact everyone earning a paycheck in Minnesota and the massive government agency it creates is not something that Minnesotans are asking for. Our plan incentivizes small businesses to participate in the FaMLI Plan by providing a tax credit and allows the private sector to operate the program.”

Highlights include:

  1. Benefits will be available to Minnesotans on January 1st, 2024—a full 18 months before House File 2.
  2. MN FaMLI offers a small business tax credit to incentivize employers to join the plan.
  3. Minnesotans may opt-in to the program for $5/week if an employer does not join by using the parameters of the state’s paid leave policy and leveraging the power of the state’s tens of thousands of employees.
  4. Employees that are satisfied with current benefits offered by their employers can keep them without being forced onto a government-run program.
  5. MN FaMLI private option will be backed by an insurance company, so taxpayers will not be expected to cover the costs of program shortfalls or losses.
  6. MN FaMLI allows for flexibility that fits the needs of both the employer and employee, with no new taxes and mandates.

Baker concluded, “This is a product that should be available to all Minnesotans and our plan provides a compassionate, realistic approach to making sure every family in our state has access to these benefits. I encourage Democrats to join us in supporting a plan that is workable, reasonable, and will not cause unintentional damage to small businesses already struggling to make it.”

The plan will be offered as a DE Amendment during the debate on House File 2 later today.